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Lalu seeks action against Advani in riots case

Railway Minister challenged Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to take action against former BJP chief for allegedly instigating the 1989 riots in Bhagalpur.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 23:31 IST

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Monday challenged Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take action against former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief LK Advani for allegedly instigating the 1989 communal riots in Bhagalpur.

Lalu Prasad said if Kumar was serious about punishing those guilty in the Bhagalpur riots, he should first initiate action against Advani.

"The Bhagalpur riots inquiry commission in its report submitted to the state government had held that provocative speeches made by Advani during his Ram Rath Yatra were responsible for the flare-up," Lalu said.

Lalu was speaking at a function in Patna on the "Future of secularism in the 21st century" organised by the Karpoori Thakur Foundation.

Kumar last week announced that his government would punish those responsible for the riots in Bhagalpur and reopen cases closed by the police.

Lalu Prasad, who is president of the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), said that the former state government headed by his party could not act against Advani due to certain technical reasons.

He also contested Kumar's statement that action was not taken by the RJD government against the accused in the riots and that the inquiry commission's report was not made public.

"The report was tabled in the state assembly and discussed in the house by members," he said.

First Published: Jan 23, 2006 23:31 IST